Science student volunteers her way to success

Thursday, August 11, 2016

By Andreea Perescu Samantha Fowler

Samantha Fowler wants you to get excited about science.

This term, she secured her dream co-op position as an Outreach Associate at the University of Waterloo Science Outreach office, coordinating the Waterloo Let’s Talk Science site. Let’s Talk Science is a charitable organization with sites at more than 40 post-secondary institutions.

Her hands-on role has allowed her to do what she excels at, which is to educate students of all ages about the value of science. Fowler organizes about twenty Let’s Talk Science workshops a week.

I heard about Let’s Talk Science when I volunteered for the University of Waterloo’s Science Open House in my first year, said Fowler. I had the most amazing day volunteering in the physics room, even though I wasn’t a physics student, and I knew that I wanted to continue. The next chance I got, I signed up to become a volunteer.

Her experience as a volunteer helped her leverage a summer job at the Let's Talk Science head office last summer and then into a co-op work term within the Faculty of Science, as their Outreach Associate this term.

Entering her third year Bachelor of Science in psychology with a biology minor, Fowler’s enthusiasm for guiding kids to science discoveries comes through in her work ethic. Beyond prepping and organizing outreach events, Fowler designed her own workshop to help get students excited about psychology as well.

One of the new workshops I helped develop for the summer is called The Science of Mind Reading. It is a psychology kit that ties in pre-existing activities with new activities I found. It is intended to teach the students about the biology and psychology that controls our behaviour, and how we can manipulate or trip up our brain!

Fowler’s interest for psychology started early on with a fascination about mental health, “I have always been interested in mental health because people don’t talk about it even when it is so prevalent. You’re allowed to call in sick because you have the flu, but not because your anxiety is too severe to get out of bed that day,” explained Fowler.

Now, Fowler is set on pursuing a career path in science outreach. “Let’s Talk Science is the reason behind my new career path,” said Fowler. “I came into university dead set on entering neuroscience research, but working with Science Outreach showed me my passion for teaching and education.”

Science Open House volunteersSamantha Fowler (far left) and other Science Outreach volunteers at Science Open House 2015.


This story was originally posted on the UW Daily Bulletin

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